Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Taberski workshop on comprehension

I've been home for about an hour from a workshop with Sharon Taberski. I had time to grab a bite to eat and put together a new shelf for my home and before I get too tired I want to spend a bit of time blogging to share some of what I learned.
Sharon said she was tired, though I certainly couldn't tell from the way she presented. She is an absolutely phenomenal teacher. So ... what did I learn?

* Background Knowledge needs to be of much more importance in our classrooms than it is currently.
* Reading strategies should be taught as courses for action to accomplish a specific objective. We need to remember to have students practice strategies in purposeful contexts not for the strategy itself, but as a way to get to an end of comprehension.
* We should think of comprehension as a complex process involving interactions between readers and texts.
* Our classroom libraries and read alouds should include 50% fiction and 50% nonfiction.
* Content area literacy centers help students to build background knowledge.
* We can teach kids to intentionally build background knowledge themselves. It is not just about us providing scaffolding.
* Use elaborative language to more fully explain how things work to children.
* Students should have both good fit books and look at books in their book boxes. Look at books are nonfiction books in which students can increase their background knowledge by looking at pictures or reading text features.
* We can teach students to use nonfiction books that are above their good fit levels in order to research. We should teach students a strategy called stop, look, & learn. They look through a book and stop when they see something that is either interesting or that has a sentence that they are able to read. Next the student should look more closely at the picture or sentence. Lastly, they should recognize what they have learned and gained in knowledge.
*Students need to have the opportunity to write what they know and talk about what they know. People know they know what they know when they have the opportunity to share it.
* As teachers we often ask too many unimportant questions. The questions we ask must lead the learner to really think about his or her thinking.

Here are some resources Sharon Taberski recommended:

As if I didn't already have enough to read and think about ...

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